REI Aries 35L Pack
Height of Owner: 5'2"
Price Paid: $50 REI garage sale
I've had this pack for years, purchased at an REI garage sale in '05 i think. i've used it frequently on couple-day hikes and it's always held up really well.
recently, though, i pushed its limits by taking it on a three month adventure through central america. i packed it FULL and dragged it through buses and small airplanes from costa rica through nicaragua, el salvador, guatemala, belize, and finally the yucatan. the pack was thrown down from and on top of so many chicken buses it's remarkable it's in one piece, and carried through national forests and crazy rain storms on a regular basis. it's currently a little dirty, but still in perfect condition. not a scratch, tear, or broken buckle to speak of.
i know some REI products can be hit or miss, but if you get your hands on this one know that the quality is outstanding and it has definitely held up in circumstances far beyond what it was meant for.
Where to Buy
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Here's what other sites are saying:
With a slim shape, this new women's weekend adventure pack features a compression flap and strap system for hauling winter gear or climbing equipment. Unique fabric flaps and webbing straps hold a snowboard, crampons, shovel or other gear--or flip to the side for securing skis. Fixed top lid has two zippered pockets--one on top, one underneath--to keep essentials close at hand. Main compartment offers both top-loading and side-zip access; adjustable compression straps secure the load for jostle-free carrying. Internal sleeve accommodates the hydration reservoir of your choice; dual exit ports allow drinking tube to routed on either side of pack. Quick-drying waistbelt and shoulder straps feature suspension mesh that is cool and comfortable, plus sloughs off snow and dirt. Anatomically curved, padded shoulder straps with sternum strap, and padded hipbelt with stabilizer straps fit a woman's shape. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) framesheet curves to fit the shape of your back and protects it from bulky, pointy loads. Along with the HDPE sheet, an aluminum Y-split mono-stay provides frame support. Two adjustable ice axe loops, two side tool loops, gear loops and a daisy chain let you attach extra gear. Two mesh ''cockpit'' pockets on waistbelt provide a handy place for frequently accessed items such as sunscreen, lipbalm or snacks.